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Enjoying a Summers Day

Ashley Summers calls her husband, Andy, "the luckiest unlucky guy I know." Considering how gravely ill he was, most people would agree.

Andy and Ashley Summers Andy and Ashley Summers and their four children, ages 7 months to 8 years old, spend family time near the Kankakee River.

What started as a simple gallstone attack last fall progressed to a cascade of life-threatening problems, including an inflamed pancreas and a necrotic gallbladder.

Fortunately, the 32-year-old construction worker had more than luck on his side. Ashley, pregnant with their fourth child, was his advocate and emotional support. Uzma D. Siddiqui, MD, led Andy's team of physicians at the University of Chicago Medicine Center for Endoscopic Research and Therapeutics (CERT). The physicians are all experts in interventional endoscopy for the treatment of complex gastrointestinal disorders.

"Every doctor on the team knew my case every bit as well as Dr. Siddiqui did," Andy said.

"We're used to seeing these conditions," Siddiqui explained. "We're used to working together and we can count on each other's expertise."

The first step was to stabilize Andy, who had been transferred to the University of Chicago Medicine at Ashley's request when her husband's condition deteriorated.

The first step was to stabilize Andy, who had been transferred to the University of Chicago Medicine at Ashley's request when her husband's condition deteriorated. Uzma Siddiqui, MD

Siddiqui controlled Andy's pain, got his electrolyte levels back to normal and inserted a feeding tube. She cautioned Ashley that it could take many months before her husband would be well again.

In subsequent procedures, Siddiqui used interventional endoscopic techniques to remove diseased tissue and drain infected fluid. A few months later surgeons removed his gallbladder.

"It's been a long road, but we have been so blessed," Ashley said. "Through everything, Dr. Siddiqui went way, way beyond what I ever anticipated. She got Andy home for all the important stuff — for the baby, for Christmas. She got him home, and she got him well."

"It's been a long road, but we have been so blessed," Ashley said. "Through everything, Dr. Siddiqui went way, way beyond what I ever anticipated. She got Andy home for all the important stuff — for the baby, for Christmas. She got him home, and she got him well."

This story originally ran in the Summer 2015 issue of Imagine, a quarterly magazine published by the University of Chicago Medicine.
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